Hope everyone’s had a great week. I faltered a bit this week with the daily posts, but that’s okay! The stories go on, either way. As usual, today’s post comes inspired by this week’s #FlashMobWrites prompt. We’re finally getting a decent look at the much anticipated hunting trip!
Prompt: “headed straight for”, “there’s an old man”
After almost an hour, Niklaus’ arm darts out to stop me. He turns, finger to his lips, before moving to climb up a tree. He’s like a cat – quick, nimble, and entirely silent. He signals me to look around the trunk. On the other side is the edge of a river we’ve been following. The rush of the water does a good job of hiding any noise I might make, but also hides the noises of animals I’d otherwise hear.
At the edge of the water, there’s a large bear. I look up at Niklaus, the question clear in my eyes. He nods, motions for me to stay put, and turns his attention to the animal. It’s completely unaware that we’re only yards away. I could shoot it from here easily, though I don’t think that’s what Niklaus wants. I’m right – a moment later, he launches himself from his perch in the tree. Faster than I’ve ever seen anything move, he’s a blur when he collides with the bear. The animal cries out in a pained roar, and I can’t help but wince as Niklaus buries his face into the back of its neck. It thrashes for a while, but loses its energy and strength soon after, collapsing under Niklaus.
The bear is just a lump of meat under the crouching vampire. It’s still breathing steadily, but the longer Niklaus drinks, the slower the animal’s breaths. I find myself walking around the tree and towards him – fully aware that this was exactly what he wanted me not to do. After all, a feeding vampire is at its most primal, its most dangerous.
Niklaus’ head snaps up. For a moment I think his eyes will lock onto mine, but his gaze moves past me and somewhere to my left. His entire body tenses at whatever he sees, so I turn, too. There’s a group of men standing near the edge of the trees. Two of them look my age or a bit older, wielding crossbows, carrying swords on their belts. Behind them, there’s an old man – they seem to be protecting him.
One of the younger men prepares his bow, training it on Niklaus. He bares his bloody teeth at them, looking every bit the feral animal.
“No!” Between them and Niklaus, I train my crossbow on the men. “You don’t know what you’re doing. Leave before you’re hurt.”
“Ariella?” Closer to the men now, I recognize the one that says my name.
“Soren.” He wasn’t there for the ceremony – doesn’t know about my being selected as the vampire prince’s bride. I make my way closer to Niklaus, only a few feet away now. “You have to go. Niklaus won’t hurt you.”
“What are you doing here?” His guard lowers, but his friend doesn’t wait any longer, letting his shot loose, the arrow headed straight for Niklaus. Without thinking, I put myself in the arrow’s path. It grazes my arm. Behind me, Niklaus growls.
Hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt 🙂
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As always, think happy thoughts!